Al Nafisi – The Excellent Ones
The Jieshi is truly an all-elite force and represent some of the best warriors Malal has at his disposal. Even among these great warriors some stand above the rest. These chosen warriors are the Brides of Faruq.
The Brides are an elite sisterhood. There are only eleven of them in the entire legion, women who have dedicated themselves to Faruq and the cause of Malal. Again, 11 is the sacred number of Malal making the Brides especially significant to the legion. For more about female space marines, see the article in the Imperial Library
Laila Munira al’Sayyadina (Night’s Illuminator, the Friend of God): Laila is Faruq’s first wife and the champion of the Warband. She is a fair-skinned woman of great beauty who began her life as a loyalist preacher on Hira, when she heard the message of Malal. Realizing that the Ecclesiarchy had perverted the Truth in pursuit of political power, she accepted Is’Malal as the One True Faith. The Emperor (May the Peace of Chaos be Upon Him) was a prophet of Is’Malal and tried to warn humanity about the Ruinous Powers. Is’Malal is the only way to utterly destroy the renegade gods and to protect mankind from the depredations of the Ruinous Powers. She was 40 when she met and married Faruq, a man some 15 years her junior. Committing herself entirely to the cause, she became instrumental in Faruq’s campaign to convert the masses on Hira and across the Satyressia Expanse. She was made into a Chaos Marine with the aid of the infamous Fabius Bile, though she rarely wears her armor off the battlefield, and has remained at Faruq’s side ever since. It was her idea to form a bodyguard for Faruq among his wives. She is an astute strategist and has led smaller raids on her own. She is an able tactician and respected matriarch among the faithful. Laila is head of the Brides and takes her position in Faruq’s household seriously. She is adept at keeping the schemes of her ‘sisters’ from threatening her position. She has cultivated her relationship with Maisa and Amani, offering them a maternal affection they had never known. Maisa has responded by developing a fierce loyalty to Laila second only to her attachment to Faruq. Amani views Laila as a mother figure and will not brook any threat to her. Amani’s great physical strength and Maisa’s mastery of intrigue and her intelligence network have made Laila very secure, indeed. In return, Laila is fiercely protective of her ‘daughter-wives’.Her own position as matriarch of the legion is beyond challenge owing both to her own charisma and beauty and the muscle provided by her alliances with Maisa and Amani
Maisa Muna al’Faruq (Strutting Desire of Faruq): Maisa is Faruq’s second wife and she is a Dark Eldar. Her original name was Morgante the Cruel. She met Faruq during a raid on Hira, Faruq’s forces smashed the raiders killing her previous consort in the process. She was captured by the Jieshi, and was genuinely was impressed by the efficiency of Faruq’s men. After meeting Faruq spending many evenings talking to him, she came to care for him. These feelings of concern for another were entirely new to her and she accepted Faruq’s offer of marriage becoming a convert to Is’Malal. She has taught the legion many hit-and-run tactics made famous by her former people. When she learned of Laila (Faruq’s first wife) her initial reaction was one of hostility towards her rival, but Laila refused to become Maisa’s enemy, offering the Dark Eldar affection and maternal advice. These emotions are utterly alien to Dark Eldar society. Maisa found her own reaction towards these overtures confusing at first, but they developed into genuine love and loyalty towards her new family. She turned her budding intelligence network toward rooting out threats to Faruq and Laila. Laila, for her part, would not tolerate any disrespect towards her exotic sister-wife. The relationship between these women grew from rivalry, to respect to genuine love. When Faruq married Nafisa, Maisa followed Laila’s example and cultivated an alliance with the former slave girl. Being a Dark Eldar, she had some experience with slaves and her ability to empathize with Nafisa helped forge a deep bond of sisterhood between the two. Despite her newfound ability to love another, she never abandoned the vindictive nature of the Dark Eldar entirely, she is a dangerous woman to cross. In addition to being a fearsome warrior in her own right, Maisa Muna is the head of Faruq’s much-feared personal security forces, the Someri Abidi (Black Guards). An apprentice Hierarch among the Dark Eldar, she is skilled at uncovering plots against her husband and infiltrating opposition groups opposed to his rule.
Rana al’Faruq (Delight of Faruq): Psykers have little to say in whether the wyrd touches them or not. Even those who have devoted their life to the Emperor are subject to the bane that is chaos. When one who has trained within the Abbey upon the Rock for many years discovers that she possesses the very skills they are trained to stamp out, some offer themselves up as heretics and are purged. Other, more desperate, women flee into the hell worlds that border the Imperium, hoping to live their cursed lives out as a Fallen Sister. Rana was once a Sister of Battle – one of the Daughters of the Emperor. She saw in Is’Malal the fulfillment of the Imperial dream and embraced the Faith. It was her influence that lead the Jieshi to tightly bind its martial and religious doctrines into a cohesive whole making the legion fearsome on the battlefield. Rana is also something of a religious philosopher, divining the will of Malal and making religious rulings for the people. Her ecclesiastical training makes her especially able to refute apologists for the Imperial Creed as well as the votaries of the other Chaos gods. She has not formed a bond with any of her sister-wives – but instead takes quiet joy from the fact that she has found a place where she fits in. She tends to defer to Laila in most matters since Laila was a Canoness in the Sisters whereas Rana was only a sister of battle. Her tactical advice, however, has proven invaluable to her husband and sons on the battlefield. (Optional Special Rule: Ashamed and Afraid -Rana has risked much in her attempts to escape the Abbey and the notice of her former sisters. She must make a leadership test in order to charge any member of a Sisters of Battle squad, or any unit containing an Imperial Priest, Inquisitor, or Preacher model)
Nafisa Ghanima al’Faruq (Exquisite Booty of Faruq): Nafisa was a teenager named Rose when she met Faruq. She was a slave girl on a world that had fallen to the Emperor’s Children. She was in the harem of a Slaaneshi champion when his stronghold was raided by the Jieshi. She was taken as a prize of war (a ghanima) by the legion. Expecting more of the same depravity from Faruq as she experienced at the hands of the Slaneeshi, her fears were confirmed when she was ushered into the presence of Maisa during her first night in the Seraglio. Instead of being tortured, the Dark Eldar spent her time treating her wounds and told her of the tenor of life in Faruq’s house. The slave girl was shocked, not only by the kindness shown here by the Is’Malal but also by the empathy displayed by this Dark Eldar woman. In time, she came out of her shell and became Maisa’s protégé and friend (and occasional lover). She embraced Is’Malal and accepted Maisa’s name for her, Nafisa or Exquisite Beauty. Maisa was not alone in noticing Nafisa, Faruq was also taken by her beauty, her honest hatred of the Chaos Gods, and her fiery spirit. She became his fourth wife at Maisa’s suggestion and is responsible for interrogating high-value prisoners. She rarely fails to learn what she needs to from her ‘guests’.Nafisa rarely uses the traditional tools of the torturer’s trade. She is skilled at using drugs, psychic probing, forbidden magics, and humiliation to break her subjects. She is particularly adept at breaking Slaaneshi cultists and her skill at manipulating the nervous systems of humans and Xenos alike would make her the envy even of a Dark Angels inquisitor chaplain. She eschews the dark dungeons of most torturers, preferring the clinical environment of a simple interrogation room or occasionally the opulence of her own boudoir as the setting for her interrogations.
Ahlam al’Faruq (Dreams of Faruq): The fifth and youngest of Faruq’s wives is Ahlam. Ahlam lived on the Imperial world of Maccabeus Segundus when it was raided by the Jieshi. She was only six when she met Faruq but already she was a powerful psyker, being held by the Inquisition pending her transfer to one of the Black Ships. Considered an outcast by her neighbors and terrified for her own safety, she was drawn to Faruq’s men as they clearly had psykers among them. The Sahari who lead the raid spared her and brought her to Hira. During Farasat’s interview with her, he asked her to interpret a dream, she was able to explain the meaning of the dream as a message from Malal. Revealed in the dream was key to sacking a fortress world of Khorne. After the Jieshi successfully sacked the planets, Farasat brought her to Faruq’s house as his ward for six years, She married Faruq when she turned 12. Ahlam has been studying under the tutelage of Farasaat to develop what he believes can be formidable psychic powers and her skills as a seer are unquestioned. It is a rare thing indeed for the Jieshi to go to war without consulting the young Prophetess. She is a common site using her formidable psychic powers in support of her sisters. Note: Ahlam is really a psychic rather than a Chosen Chaos Marine – if she is deployed, she should be represented as a Sorcerer model attached to the brides. I use a Dark Elf Sorceress to represent her.
Amani al’Faruq (Wishes of Faruq): Amani is a native of Hira and grew up as a Malala. She is the daughter of a poor family on Hira that was among the first to embrace Is’Malal. Faruq met her in the Sook (marketplace) of Hirakeen (the capital of Hira). Taken with her strength and beauty, he asked for her hand and her family readily agreed. She is very strong and her marine enhancements make her more so. She has an aptitude for all things mechanical and mathematical, she serves as the mechanic of the Rhino Seraglio and generally oversees the armory, thralls and other servants of the Brides between battles. She is also an accomplished dancer, administrator, and entertainer – the star of Faruq’s court. Unlike most of Faruq’s other wives, she is not a convert to Is’Malal – she was born to it. Amani is the model Malala. She is a devoted student of Laila who has developed a maternal interest in Amani. Her great strength has often been of value to her foster mother as she defends her side on and off the battlefield.
Dua al’Faruq (Prayer of Faruq): Dua was a preacher of the Ecclesiarchy on Silvanos when that world fell to the Jieshi Is’Malal. Fully expecting to die a gribbly death at the hands of the Chaos raiders, she was shocked to see they did not unleash a bloodbath. They rounded up the conventional Chaos cultists who had come out of hiding when the world fell and put them to death. They then approached the Ecclesiarchy and explained they also hated the forces of Chaos. They also regarded the Emperor as a prophet and showed the clergy how the Imperial cult was really only part of a larger truth. Impressed with the relative civility of the Is’Malalim and the fact that they were willing to argue their case rather than behave in a homicidal frenzy when challenged, she embraced the True Faith and has since become an able preacher of the Faith. She typically serves as Faruq’s envoy to the Ecclesiarchy when Faruq requires a parley with the Imperial cult.
Farah al’Faruq (Joy of Faruq): Farah was once Capt. Joy VanderHuet of the Cadian 394th Mechanized Infantry. Her regiment was committed to the defense of Silvanos when the Jieshi invaded. Owing to the utter incompetence of her superiors, the 394th was quickly isolated in the city of Municiberg by the forces of the jyhad. Refusing to accept defeat the 394th withstood siege for nearly a year. Faruq felt it would be unfortunate to kill such a determined and able commander, so he sent Dua (then his newest wife) to parley with the commander of Municiberg’s defenses. Upon meeting with the determined guard captain, the former preacher convinced her that loyalty to mankind and to the True Vision of the Emperor required her to join forces with the Jieshi as the only means to drive the forces of Chaos from the universe, the same mission given her by the Emperor. Capt. VanderHuet accepted Dua’s invitation. She so impressed Faruq, that he married her immediately as his 8th wife.
Faraja al’Faruq (Remedy of Faruq): Faraja was an Alchemist on the Imperial trader Prospero when it was taken by Faruq’s men. The ship and her cargo were diverted to Carthagio, a moon of the largest gas giant in the Suris Minoris system. Faruq’s men were regrouping after several successful raids of Hell-Worlds in the Satyressia Maelstrom when Carthagio was attacked by a Tyranid splinter force. Having no alternative but to join with Faruq’s men or be reduced to a biological soup for the Hivemind, the crew of the Prospero helped to evacuate the moon. In the course of the retreat, Faruq was stricken with a Tyranid spawned fever. Faraja spends hours in her laboratory developing a cure lest the contagion kills them all. Fortunately for all concerned, her potions worked and Faruq recovered. In gratitude, he decreed the crew of the Prospero were not to be considered a prize of war but his honored guests – if only Faraja would become his Bride. She accepted and currently oversees the creation of new marines as the chief apothecary of the Jieshi.
Ghufran al’Faruq (Forgiveness of Faruq): Ghufran was a cultist of the Unblinking Eye (a chaos undivided cult) who was sent to organize a cult on Hira, she was quickly discovered by the Someri Abidi. Taken to the dungeons beneath Faruq’s fortress, she was a curiosity since she didn’t serve any one of the Chaos gods. Faruq went to see for himself who this enigmatic woman was. After many conversations, he chose to spare her after she embraced the Truth. She spent another 2 years as his ward before marrying him as his 10th wife. Ghufran is adept at organizing Is’Malal cults on Imperial and Chaos held worlds, she typically will take over an existing anti-establishment group and rework it towards the needs of the Faithful. Often found overseeing the activities of a fifth column or subverting the court of a world targeted by Faruq, she is a master of manipulation. Maisa accepts her presence but doesn’t entirely trust her, there are several covert operatives of the Someri Abidi in Ghufran’s retinue (unknown to Ghufran, of course).
Jumana al’Faruq (Pearl of Faruq): Jumana was once an underhive gang leader, when her world was raided by the Jieshi, she and her gangers were cut off by a particularly bold manuever lead by Is’Malali guardsmen under the command of Farah al’Faruq. Impressed with the spirit of the gang, she offered them the honors of war. Seeing little alternative, Jumana surrendered. Expecting little more than a quick death, she was surprised to learn that she and her gang would be spared if they would embrace the True Faith. Having little belief in the Imperial creed and impressed with Farah’s men, she and most of her compatriots accepted. Jumana became the captain of a raiding vessel of the Jieshi and quickly racked up an impressive battle record. The massive amounts of booty she laid at Faruq’s feet brought her to his attention and she became his 11th and final wife. Rarely seen planetside, Jumana typically serves as the admiral of Faruq’s fleets leading raids against Imperial and infidel Chaos shipping alike.
The brides are present only when Faruq goes into battle, typically mounted in the Rhino Seraglio. Laila Munira is sometimes deployed as an aspiring champion leading a kill team made up of her fellow brides and their most promising sons or as the leader of a raider force.
Modeling Guide: Each model is a conversion. I got the idea from the fact that Mohammed had 11 wives according to the Hadith and 11 also happens to be Malal’s sacred number – so the idea of modeling an entire Chosen squad of female conversions was immediately appealing. I then drew from a variety of female stereotypes of the WH40K universe to create the thumbnail biographies. The graphics used to represent the Brides were all made with Photoshop CS3